The season-opening MotoGP race this weekend, March 6-8, at Qatar has been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement issued by Dorna. A mandatory quarantine has been issued to travelers coming into Qatar from various countries due to the Coronavirus outbreak, and Italy is one of the countries on that list. Because Italy is home to many teams, riders, and MotoGP staff, it simply would not be logistically possible for any of them to make it to Qatar, pass the quarantine, and attend to their MotoGP duties. For this reason, the MotoGP class will not race at Qatar.
However, all is not lost for race fans in Qatar hoping to see world-class motorcycle racing. The Moto2 and Moto3 classes will continue to race at Qatar, due to the fact the teams are already in Qatar finalizing pre-season testing. Dorna has released an updated schedule for those in attendance, and those interested in viewing the racing from home.
The schedule after Qatar is in limbo, as it has also been announced the March 22 Thailand Grand Prix has been postponed, also due to the Corononavirus outbreak. At this time Dorna, IRTA, and the FIM are evaluating possible alternative dates.
For American MotoGP fans, this means the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, April 3-5 in Austin, Texas could effectively be the first round of the MotoGP championship. Assuming, of course, there are no further delays or disruptions from the Coronavirus.
We’ll publish further updates as they are announced.